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Talking Machine

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Performer:
Jim Henson • (1967 & 1987)
Jerry Nelson • (1977)
Talkingmachine

The talking machine in its Muppet Show appearance

The Talking Machine first appeared in a 1967 IBM training film starring an early version of Cookie Monster. The talking coffee machine, an ornate device which had eyes attached to its tape reel, offered a monotone "recorded analytic program read-out," describing its various parts, which in turn were eaten by the monster.

The sketch was repeated with the proto-Cookie on The Ed Sullivan Show, and later with Luncheon Counter Monster on Episode 210 of The Muppet Show. The machine's speech was nearly identical in each incarnation, unusual for a repeated sketch, and all versions of the sketch ended with the revelation that the machine is a powerful explosive device. The monster realizes what it has done too late, as the next moment it destructs.

The Talking Machine later appeared in the 1987 Muppet Meeting Film "Coffee Break Machine," yet another remake of the sketch. In this appearance, he was known as the Compu-Coffee 2000. As in the Muppet Show version, Luncheon Counter Monster ate the machine piece by piece, only to get blown up in the end.

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